Women, and a handful of men, packed the newly-renovated ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel in Framingham Thursday for the 2nd Annual Ruby Slippers Gala of the MetroWest Women's Alliance.
The attached video is a slideshow of attendees, but features the music of Ruby Slippers Gala performer Hayley Reardon, a teenager from Marblehead, who won the 2009 Boston Folk Festival Songwriting Contest, at the age of 12. Last year when she performed one of her 90-plus original songs, she received a standing ovation at the inaugural Gala.
The keynote speaker at the Gala was author Laura Schroff. (Patch also will post coverage of her keynote address as well as coverage of the scholarship winner.) The mistress of ceremonies for the event was WBZ-TV meteorologist Melissa Mack. The event featured performances by Reardon and jazz artist Grace Kelly.
The Alliance connects women and girls in the MetroWest area by providing then with the vision and skills to become leaders. The Alliance serves womena nd girls in Framingham as well as Ashland, Bellingham, Berlin, Blackstone, Bolton, Clinton, East Walpole, Fayville, Franklin, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lancaster, Marlborough, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millerville, Millville , Norfolk, Northborough, Norwood, Sheldonville, South Walpole, Southborough, Stow, Walpole, Westborough, Woodville and Wrentham.
The United Way of Tri-County and Metrowest Chamber of Commerce collaborated to create the MetroWest Women's Alliance, a unique initiative to benefit all women and girls in the MetroWest community. The Alliance's mission is to bring women and girls of various backgrounds together to foster leadership and philanthropic efforts by engaging, educating and providing the resources for empowerment. The Chamber serves Framingham as well as Ashland, Holliston, Hopkinton, Natick, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland and Westborough.
The MetroWest Women's Alliance provides scholarships, established a birthday fund for girls ages 10-15 housed by a shelter, a mini-grant program and a holiday dinner for women and children affected by domestic violence to share their culinary abilities with each other, bringing survivors together to celebrate their new lives.